Do stereotypes exist?

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How do you do fellow readers! It just hit me… Do you remember my first story about the boy who used the love is like a fart line to dump me??? Or the dude who bought me 5 boiled eggs during our movie date. They are two completely different people. They will never meet or know each other. The only thing they have in common is the name- Taonga!!!!  I think my stereotype is in the name Taonga. 

Age 10 – The boy I really like.

I think he likes me too because he is always smiling at me, His name is Taonga. Today he asked me for my colour pencils (I am the only girl in class who has that type of pencils). It is Valentines tomorrow and he said that he was going to finally come clean to the girl he likes and he needs my advice. I am reminded of an episode on friend zone and I guess it is his way of telling me he likes me on Valentine’s Day. I excitedly tell him to buy chocolate, I mean at this age a Freddo and a crunchie with two roses plucked from the school gardens is like a boy proposing marriage. He seems excited with the idea and the next day I come dressed from head to toe in red. My best friend jokingly calls me a murder scene but I do not care and I don’t even try to explain. She will fully understand why I had to dress this way real soon. He approaches me during break time with the gifts that he has really made an effort to make look nice. My heart is beating so fast, I can’t wait. This is really happening. He is coming, coming, coming. I see him smiling and I smile too. He winks, I blush then he… He…. He passes me and hands the gift to Natalie. She smiles, laughs and gives him a hug. I on the other hand, did not expect this to happen. I am slowly letting being freindzoned sink in. On Valentine’s Day I look like a red hot ass mess……. 

Age 16 and half – His name is Tadiwa.

His second name Taonga. It’s the perfect high school romance. We hold hands, kiss here and there, and he bravely told the Scripture Union teacher that I am his wife and he will fight for me. Telling off the scripture union teacher is huge at our school as he is a firm believer that girls and boys should talk whilst they are standing 3 meters apart. At school Tadiwa is my hero, but at home well I have been grounded because the SU teacher put it upon himself to tell my parents that I have a boyfriend. 

It’s after our O’level exams and I haven’t seen or talked to him in a month. I miss him, I really do. He texted me this morning and it made my mood change from sour to sweet in minutes. 

‘I miss you, I have to see you’ I text him anxiously. 

‘So come to see me’ he instantly texts back. You see he stays in Victoria Falls and I stay in Masvingo. (Masvingo yazviita zvekare!) (Masvingo has done it again) 

He has made me break every rule in my little book. But for him I will do anything. My parents are in South Africa for a whole week so I have decided to go and see Tadiwa. He has promised to show me Victoria Falls and maybe explore the intensity of our relationship in a more pleasurable way (nudge nudge, wink wink). And I waste no time that very night I get in a bus to Bulawayo then I will hope on a train all the way to Victoria Falls.

I have only packed a little money and clothes for a night. Tadiwa told me not to worry about anything else because he will take care of me, and I believe him. During the journey I am sending him pictures of how excited I am and I keep telling him where I am. Upon arrival in Bulawayo (4 hours later) the bus driver kindly takes me to the train station since it is close to where he stays. He helps me buy my ticket and I get into my cabinet.

The intercom goes on and the conductor tells us that we will arrive in Victoria Falls at exactly 11 o’clock in the morning. I check my clock and it is exactly 11 o’clock at night. I tell this to Tadiwa and wish him good night. That night I sleep effortlessly dreaming about Tadiwa and I watching the falls, laughing, loving as well as….. Knock knock knock.

I wake up with a jump. It’s clear outside and I check my clock it is 11:30 in the morning! “Sister tasvika chibudai” (We have arrived get out) I must have been so tired last night, I thank the conductor and get out. I check my phone and see missed calls from my mother and my sister but none from Tadiwa. 

‘Babe I am here…’ No response from him. I move away from the train station, slowly absorbing the beautiful scenery for a moment. I sent him another message ‘Sugar plump, your honey drip is here.’ blue tick and goes straight offline. In that moment I get the strong urge to go home.

I tell myself that the train station is close by and when I check the clock its 12 o’clock. Just then he texts ‘I can’t wait to see you, something is delaying me,’ and with that he goes offline. 12 o’clock turns into 1 o’clock and 1 o’clock turns to 2. Tadiwa’s phone is going straight to voice mail and I have had nothing to eat but a banana. I gravely underestimated how expensive even a simple bottle of mineral water is here. I have been walking around the train station in fear of getting lost.

However there is a group of tourists walking around and I join them. I notice how they are all couples holding hands, laughing as they view the cosy little town. I try not to let it discourage me hoping that Tadiwa will pull through. I am so hungry and to top it all very exhausted. My mum has been calling me and I have successfully avoided her calls, but I am now very worried because my phone battery is now on 15%. 

Even though I am in one the most beautiful places in the world I am struggling to enjoy it. Instantaneously my phone vibrates. It is now on 12percent and it is 5 o’clock. It is a text message from Tadiwa and it says ‘Go home.’ I am at a loss of words I tell you, I frantically text him expressing how angry and disappointed I am.

With no remorse he texts ‘Its, over’ and then he goes offline. My phone switches off and tears feel my eyes to the brim. As I walk back to the train station I buy a ticket with the very little money I have left, sit in my cabin and have a good cry…… 

Age 19 – I am off to Harare for my first job interview.

I am so excited, because it feels like my life is going in the right direction. My dad could not escort me so I got a lift from a very nice gentleman in his very nice jaguar. The first 150km is driven in total silence until he says “Derek”. I look at him suddenly realizing how strikingly good looking he is. Beautiful teeth, jaw-dropping strong facial features and the muscle top he is wearing reveals how chiselled he really is…

Breathless, I feel utterly breathless and in my head, I am singing a song.  When I don’t respond, he says it again, “Derek, Taonga Derek.” As the words leave his mouth I take note of his raspy voice and his very smooth accent. “I go by Taonga but I prefer it when beautiful ladies like you call me Derek.”

“Derek.” I say loving how magical that name sounds as it slips my tongue. “Hi Taonga Derek” I say again for a second time, like it’s meant to come out of my mouth. 

 He patiently waits for me as I attend my interview. Then soon after, like he has all the time in the world he takes me to an up-town restaurant where I am told to order whatever I want. This is the first time I get to eat a five course meal and he introduces me to an amazing cake called tiramisu. “It is the dessert for lovers.” he says in a way more tantalizing than this rich, creamy thing I am eating. “I would like to rub it all over your body.” He seductively says and I blush, sigh as well not knowing if I am enjoying the desert or his words more……

Taonga Derek and I become fast friends. In the two weeks I have known him I have learnt that he is a down to earth guy, who is funny, an amazing kisser and very generous with his gifts. He bought me a necklace last week, a diamond ring on Tuesday and just yesterday I received my very first Chanel bag via DHL from yours truly. I have asked him what he does for a living and he said “A bit of this and a bit of that.”

He didn’t want to discuss it anymore further and quite frankly I didn’t want to probe anymore. I am happy, at last I am with someone who understands me and who treats me the way I should. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!  My thoughts are interrupted with the violent knocking on the door. “I am coming!” I yell growing annoyed with the persistent knocking and I am a bit surprised that the dogs are not barking.

I completely understand why as soon as I open the door. Behold on the other side are two officers. No let me rephrase that… Two black boot officers, one holding a button stick, the other an Ak47. “GET ON YOUR KNEES NOW!” I

n no time at all me, my parents and 2 siblings are kneeling on the floor with our hands on our head. “Offfiiiicccerrr…. I am a… Law abbbbiiihhhhiiding citizen” my father stammers and my mother is quietly sobbing beside him. “Nyarara!” (Shut up) shouts one officer whose eyes a blood shot red “You,” he says pointing his button stick at me and I yelp as if I have been beaten.

Taonga Derek unomuziva here?” (Do you know Taonga Derek?) Before I can respond my father interjects “Officer, mwana wangu ane tsika dzakanaka, haaite zvevakomana” (My daughter doesn’t date) to that one of the officers starts laughing. He laughs so, loudly and hysterically I begin to wonder if he is sober or if it is a way of intimidating us. He then dramatically stands up breaking the glasses on the table and causing my poor mother to burst into uncontrollable tears. As for me I really want to piss my pants. “Musikana daira mubvunzo, (girl answer the question) or I will hit your father!”

“Officer Pilizzzii!” I scream “munhu akangondipawo lift ndichienda kuHarare!” (He is just a person who gave me a ride to Harare) with that the police officers exchange looks. “The guy you have been seeing stole diamonds worth 700 million dollars!!”

My mother faints and I start sweating. “Come to the police station with us, you may just be our last chance to catch him. ” with that I am put in handcuffs and ushered to their beaten-down truck. The officer softly pushes me inside the back of the truck. On our way to the police station, I am left wondering how on earth I ended up here.

Age 21 – My sister has put it upon herself to set me up on a blind date with this guy.

To be honest I don’t know what to expect from this outing. He is one of the few people though who has successfully made me freeze every time I see him. We agreed to go for an ice-cream. We haven’t said anything to each other, just smiling every now and again when we look up to look into each other’s eyes.

I am toying with my ice-cream not really eating it “Soooo,” he says,” Soooo Ummm Soooo” and I start giggling, “So is this your first pandemic?” I am taken aback by his question and then I notice that he is sweating. He. Is. Nervous. I smile at him,

“Tony do you have a second name?” I ask him and he nods his head. “Yeah it’s Taonga. What about yours?” at the mention of Taonga as his second name I start choking on my ice-cream. My cough gets so bad we abruptly end our date and we eventually never meet up again.

Do you blame me though? I have gone through enough Taongas to tell my great-grandchildren!

Thelma is an aspiring writer who wants to be the change she wants for the world.